Congressman: Obama’s Iran deal prisoner swap was ‘brutally incompetent’
WASHINGTON — Rep. Lee Zeldin, one of the two Jewish Republicans in the House, is blasting the Obama administration prisoner swap with Iran as “brutally incompetent” following new disclosures about the troubling backgrounds of the Iranians who were set free.
“Once again we are reminded of how brutally incompetent President Obama’s foreign policy was, especially as it related to Iran,” Zeldin told The Post in a statement.
“I can’t say that I am surprised in the least by these most recent findings of secrecy, lacking transparency, and utter incompetency. The Obama administration sought to appease the Iranians at any and all cost.”
Zeldin (R-NY) was the only Republican Jewish member of Congress during the Iran deal. He’s no longer alone, with the addition this year of Rep. David Kustoff (R-Tenn.).
Politico reported Monday that in order to free US prisoners, including a US Marine and a Washington Post reporter, Obama released Iranians who posed a threat to national security and dropped charges against 14 fugitives, including those tied to weapons smuggling.
Zeldin has called for more pushback against all of Iran’s threatening activities.
“We must re-establish our leverage with sanctions and other tools that would force the Iranians to the table in the first place,” Zeldin said.
The Trump administration is undertaking a review of its Iran policies. President Trump, who had pledged during the campaign to rip up the Iran nuclear deal, accused Tehran last week of not living up to the “spirit” of the agreement.